What’s the appeal of an art work on an iDevice? Is it because we are familiar with these by now ubiquitous tools and work created on them give the air of being “current”? If that’s the case, maybe we should change our thinking on the matter.


A still image of Francesco Clemente’s “Perfect,” which is being digitally editioned by s[edition].

David Hockney “pioneered” this new media gimmick, and even Amy Sillman has tried her hand at it (slightly more successfully), and now artist Francesco Clemente is releasing his first iPad drawing, which s[edition] is selling in an edition of 50o (starting at $100).

The publisher suggests you “take a glimpse into the mind of the artist and witness the creation process of Clemente’s drawings” with the new iWork, which is (we hope ironically) titled “Perfect.”

S[edition]’s mission is noble, the idea of digital limited editions by contemporary artists is great, but iArt — created in the hands of nondigital artists — is almost always a dud. Our pixels should be used for something more useful, like GIFs … obviously.


Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

4 replies on “Blame David Hockney: Francesco Clemente Creates an iPad Art Work”

  1. “Who cares” is the best answer. Digital painters have been doing this sort of thing for over a decade. Just because they can sell the thing on an app doesn’t make it special or unique. Fire up the Youtube channel of your favorite digital “speed painter” on your iPad and get something way better for free.

    1. Yes, Segio… there’s the rub. “Better for free.” In fact, a whole world of heretofore unknown painters and photographers have been making work digitally for a lot longer than one decade. Why we have to wait for David Hockney to get an i-Pad, before it is OK to make work using a computer is pure timidity and laziness on the part of those who would claim to be “sensitive to art and its discontents.” Go to moca.virtual.museum and you will see 20 years worth of visual art made digitally… both free and (most of it) much better than Hockney’s scribbles. No need to wait for someone already famous to tell us its “OK.”.

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